Philip M. Smith

Obituary
  • "My mentor...an intellectual leader who anyone could speak..."
    - Doug Ellmore, Sr.
  • "Phil is a continuing inspiration to all who knew him, and..."
    - C. Susan Weiler
  • "Indefatigable is the word that comes to mind when I think..."
  • "I had the privilege of knowing and working with Phil Smith..."
    - Jerry Sheehan
  • "February 25 I was saddened to learn of Phil's passing. He..."
    - Kendall Moulton

PHILIP M. SMITH Philip M. Smith, of Santa Fe, New Mexico, died on February 16 after a brief illness. A leader in national and international science and technology policy and in the management of federally sponsored research and development for more than five decades, Mr. Smith was Director of the National Research Council of the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering for thirteen years in the 1980s and 1990s, and remained active on Academy committees after his retirement. He previously was an Associate Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Ford and Carter administrations, and branch chief for science at the Office of Management and Budget during the Nixon administration. From 1959 through 1971 he directed polar and oceanographic research at the National Science Foundation. He was a glaciologist in the International Geophysical Year in 1957-1958, and was centrally involved in the organization of the U.S. Antarctic Research Program that followed the IGY. In his early years, he was active in cave exploration, and helped establish the Cave Research Foundation. Mr. Smith was an active outdoorsman, and throughout his life explored the rivers and mountains of the American West, Alaska, the Appalachians, and Africa. He was a member of the team that famously staged in 1960, in New Zealand-designed jet boats, the first and only up-canyon run of the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. An ardent supporter of the arts, he was a theatre, classical music and dance devotee, and an avid art collector. Mr. Smith was especially interested in the work of the Washington Color School artists such as Sam Gilliam, and the works of contemporary Southwest American artists. His collection of works by the extended Dan Namingha family form the basis of a permanent display at the Museum of Northern Arizona. Mr. Smith was actively engaged in promoting young artists, and as part of his endowment to NMA is the creation of the Namingha Institute-an annual master class retreat for emerging artists to study with masters of contemporary art. A native of Springfield, Ohio, Mr. Smith held a B.S. and M.A. from Ohio State University and an honorary doctorate from North Carolina State University. He was the recipient of many awards and honors-most recently honorary membership in the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research, an international committee of the International Council for Science. He is survived by a brother, David Smith, of Centerville, Ohio; two nieces, Diane Lutter, of Spring Valley, Ohio, and Karen Melin, of Findlay, Ohio; and their children Emily Lutter, Brian Lutter, Amanda Lutter, Benjamin Lutter, and Laura Melin. He is also survived by a worldwide network of people who proudly call themselves "Friends of Phil."
Published in Santa Fe New Mexican from Feb. 22 to Feb. 23, 2014
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